Let’s face it, for most of us one of the biggest obstacles to saving is that sometimes there isn’t enough paycheck at the end of the month. Even for those of us who educate people about managing their finances, it can get hard when the budget is already stretched thin. Here are a few ways to get you started.
Have you noticed how more and more of your grocery budget is spent on meat these days? If so, you’re not alone, and for good reason: Meat prices are rising faster than any other food group, with the price of beef, pork, poultry and fish all recently reaching record highs. The price of ground beef, for example, is up more than 75 percent in just the past five years. That’s enough to give a cheapskate like me a grocery shopping phobia.
When you're a kid, it's funny how quickly your summer vacation mood turns from "I'm free!" to "I'm bored." With at least a few weeks remaining before the school bells ring once again - and parents everywhere cheer " We're free!" - it's little wonder that July is "Anti-Boredom Month." That's right, the time of year when boredom is so prevalent that we need an official, month-long campaign to combat it.
Q: My husband will not quit spending. He has purchased several vehicles, only to trade them in for less than we owed on them. During our 18-year marriage, we have refinanced our house six times to pay off loans and credit cards. When we refinanced this last time, I refused to pay any of his credit cards or loans off. I would not have even considered refinancing again, but the low rates were appealing.
Folks who were lucky enough to be in New Orleans for Life@50+ National Event got a taste of the cheap life from AARP's savings expert and Ultimate Cheapskate Jeff Yeager. Think living frugally has to be boring? Think again - and Jeff's session was anything but.
Talk about the miracle of brilliant marketing: Did you know most bottled water is actually filtered municipal water? Put it in a pretty bottle, throw on a sexy label and mention something about a mountain spring, and we're willing to shell out 2000 times the amount of money it costs for something we could get virtually free (from whence it came to begin with!) Eee-gads have we been hoodwinked!
More 401(k) plan sponsors are offering to pay benefits in a form that guarantees a set level of monthly income, regardless of how long you live. And more employers are beginning to offer these plans, Time's Dan Kadlec reports. "Before long your 401(k) may look a lot more like your dad's pension," writes Kadlec.
Once or twice a year for the past four years I've had the pleasure of hosting an online "Savings Challenge" here on the AARP website. Members of the Savings Challenge group - now more than 5,000 strong - compete in weekly challenges throughout the month-long contest, and then three overall winners are selected at the end of the Challenge.
When it comes to saving enough for retirement, it's important to keep the big picture in mind, right? Wrong, say researchers from Boston College's Center for Retirement Research; the best strategy is to think in small, concrete steps.
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